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What To Do If You Suspect Drain Cleaner Poisoning


Drain cleaner is a very effective tool when used properly, but unfortunately, it can be very harmful for humans. If you ever suspect that a friend or loved one is suffering from drain cleaner poisoning, it is imperative you act right away.

The first thing you should know about drain cleaner poisoning, is the symptoms. You can’t “diagnose” poisoning like this unless the person is showing some or all of these symptoms:

  • Sever abdominal pain
  • Throat swelling and difficulty breathing
  • Collapse
  • Mouth or throat pain
  • Severe Tissue burns
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid drop in blood pressure

If your loved one is displaying these symptoms, the first thing you should do is call medical help. You can either call local emergency (911) or you can contact the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222). The NPCC number will link you to the nearest, local poison control center.

Your loved one needs to be treated as soon as possible. When you call try to have the following information ready:

  • Patient’s age, weight, and condition
  • Information about the drain cleaner (brand, amount swallowed, time swallowed, etc.)

Seek medical consent prior to any home remedies. If the poison was swallowed, milk or water might help the patient’s conditions as long as they are not suffering symptoms that would make it difficult to swallow. When in doubt, ask a professional first.

Whatever you do, DO NOT give the patient anything to induce vomiting. Drain cleaner is a poison, but if you attempt to help remove that poison, you will likely cause greater burn damage to the patient’s throat and mouth.

The prognosis depends greatly on the amount of poison that was swallowed and how quickly the patient received medical attention. Unfortunately, drain cleaner poisoning can cause side effects for several weeks after the poison was consumed. Drain cleaner poisoning can even cause death. As a result of these severe side effects, it is imperative that a patient gets the proper attention as soon as possible.

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